Last evening Katruska and I were finally able to make it over to The Pinewood Tippling Room located in Decatur in the old Cakes & Ale space. The space has been converted into a modern take on the standard American bar/restaurant with both the kitchen and bar focusing on re-interpretations of classic recipes. This is not to say that there are not several original creations available.
We started our evening with a glass of PWTR Porch Punch. Served over ice with slice of lemon, this refreshing blend of herb and spice tea infused vodka, citrus, mint, and bitters was a charming way to start our experience in The Pinewood. Once we had enjoyed our fill of the punch, we reviewed our options for further imbibing and settled on the PWTR Draft Old Fashioned and Goodwood Julep. Both choices fell firmly in our preferred “boozy” cocktail taste range, but be assured that the menu has something to make every taste profile happy.
We first tasted the Goodwood Julep served in a traditional silver cup with crushed ice, copious fresh mint, and straws for sipping. At first we were put off by the tiny straws that kept us from large tastes…after all we are professionals. But, we soon discovered the advantages of small sips delivering perfect portions of the combination of ice cold bourbon, Averna, Cynar, mint, tarragon, castor sugar, and lemon oil. Truly a delightful take on the traditional version.
Then we moved on to the PWTR Draft Old Fashioned. This cocktail is a bit of a controversy in the cocktail scene with some in the hand-crafted camp firmly against the diminishment of a classic by premixing and serving it on draft. When asked why this choice in service, the bar manager indicated that he could deliver a high quality cocktail quickly when the bar was busy. We have to admit we were a bit skeptical, but he was right. The combination of Old Overholt rye, oleo-saccharum (house made sugared citrus oil), and bitters when served over a large ice cube and finished with a squeeze of orange peel produces a deliciously smooth version of the classic with no loss of elegance in drinking.